When I moved on from my long-term youth ministry position in February 09, one of my hopes was to be able to write. I didn't have complete clarity as to exactly what I wanted to write about, but I felt itchy to get some things written down.
Soon after I resigned, I was at a conference and unexpectedly "met" (ran into, really) an editor from InterVarsity Press whose writing I had admired. Feeling like this was my one shot, and that it would pass very quickly, I blurted to him something to the effect of I've always wanted to write and I don't know if I'm even any good but how would I start if I wanted to get published...
Feeling like a fool because I'm sure he hears that ALL THE TIME, I still pushed past my insecurities somehow and just put it out there ~ I'm so grateful he didn't blow me off.
In reply, he said very simply, Start a blog. I told him I felt like there are a million silly blogs out there and who in the world reads them, and he patiently explained that having a blog provides the impetus to write. When you know it's there, it's embarrassing to not regularly post content on it, so it kicks you in the butt and gets you motivated. Tell a few friends you've got one, and go from there... and with that, he moved on.
That's all I needed. No, I haven't become famous, and I certainly haven't written that great American novel. But I have started writing, and it started with this blog (well, it started with AP English in high school, but that's another story). The practice the blog gives me has been a great discipline. I'm not sure I could tell you precisely how I ended up writing some articles after that, but I did. It's all still a work in progress ~ but it feels great to turn some ideas into reality.
That provides a bit of context to then say that I had two articles come out this month. One of them is on the Fuller Youth Institute website, which represents the youth ministry research arm of Fuller Seminary. The article is titled, Friends & Frenemies: Love, Pray, Eat. I enjoy writing for FYI because the editors push me hard to back up my big sweeping statements with actual research, gosh darn it. Last month I was stoked to find out that one of my articles for them last year was part of their "Top 5 Resources for 2010"... Regardless of whether I have articles in there or not, bookmark this site because it is a tremendous resource for anyone who cares about teens, families, education, and most importantly, youth ministry.
The other article released this month is in Youthworker Journal, and it titled Teens, Texts & Tweets: Helping Parents & Youthworkers Understand & Address Technology. This one is on page 34 and the link here is a digital magazine... you may find it a tiny bit tricky to navigate (let's be honest, I DID), so I hope you're able to read it. As with an article from last September, I got a good laugh out of seeing my name make the cover of the magazine. (If you squinch up your eyes real tight you'll see it... Should I mention that the lady in the photo sort of creeps me out?)
If you read this blog periodically, you have been part of this process of learning. Thanks. If there is something on your wish list that you hope to do "someday," all I can say is, Don't wait any longer. Get going, y'hear!?